Friday, December 14, 2012

It is all in "Post" with CaptureOne Pro

Continuing with their knowledge and understanding of PhaseOne gear and the CaptureOne Pro software we look at what tools are available in post to make adjustments to the files before they are processed out so we are not decimating the pixels. CaptureOne Pro is a world leader with it's processing software and ability to accept RAW files from all platforms. In class we take a look not only at the regular adjustments that we typically make before processing out files but also some of the advanced features as well. These include custom color editor, conversion to black and white, correcting for moire, vignetting, lens cast calibration etc. I like to test their understanding of the concepts with assignments. In this particular instance the assignment consisted of two parts:

(1) Capture an image that purposely had the White Balance incorrectly set. Process out two files - a"before" image showing the file uncorrected for color and an "after" image with color correction.

(2) Capture an image (free creative licence to shoot whatever came to mind) and process out the file as "normal" (before). Then using any of the advanced features of CaptureOne Pro software adjust the file however you like (after). Process it out and show both before and after side by side.

The marking was assessed not only in their ability to use the software but as always also in the creative, execution of idea and the final result.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Medium Format?

I have had the opportunity this term to introduce the second years to capturing using medium format gear. As a professional photographer there are many reasons why I shoot medium format with my PhaseOne equipment. I like to bring this experience to the classroom so that they all have a chance to at least understand the basics of medium format capture and the quality of the files that it creates. I go through and demonstrate how to use the camera system, PhaseOne digital back, shooting tethered and use of the CaptureOne Pro software for processing. I then turn the tables on them and break them into groups of 4 to 5 and have them shoot this assignment tethered using the PhaseOne system. The creative is left up to them and they are given 1 1/2 hours to collectively work together to light and capture their idea. Once again a real world scenario working under a tight time constraint. It was interesting to see the final results and variation in ideas amongst the four groups. I was pleased with the final results and the opportunity they had to capture an idea using medium format PhaseOne gear.

Who turned on the lights!

We are almost at the end of the term now and the students have handed in their second last assignment "High Key" for PHT 350. We explored what classifies an image as High Key and how to go about creating it. Fundamentally it is defined by lighter tones, lower ratios and softer light. This may seem easy but is not always easily achieved - getting a clean high key image with contrast and clean tones takes practice and experience. I am proud to say that my students have a good start on creating "High Key" images.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

And last but not least "Gravity"

So our first years have survived their first term of Critique and have handed in their last themed critique "Gravity". Each of us, as visual artists, have our own creative thoughts on a theme or idea so I am always interested to see their interpretation versus mine. Sometimes we are close other times we are not - that is why our world and work is so subjective. How would you interpret "Gravity" as a theme?

For the first time ever instructors had to also submit a photo that we had taken to fit with the each critique theme. Students were glad to see this as it shows we can walk what we talk. I think that it will become a new tradition within the program.